Opinion

Take Spring Break to think about your Democracy

As Spring Break approaches, everyone is probably wondering how a cynical college student with deep-seated objections to the impending war with Iraq spends his break. I’m sorry to harp on war, but I have a hard time writing about how much parking sucks when thousands of lives and billions of dollars are about to be spent pursuing a war that has not yet been justified and that has literally millions of protestors world wide (our president referred to them as a “focus group”).
This Spring Break, I will be trying to answer two questions that it seems supporters of war cannot answer. First: why Iraq? Supporters of war cite a list of reasons, some of which may not be completely true. Then, when millions of people and some of the most powerful countries in the world say that they are not persuaded, supporters of the war merely repeat those same “facts” without any new information that might make protestors change their minds.
These supporters of war, for example, will say that Hussein gassed his people, a comment that has absolutely nothing to do with the situation we are in right now. They will also say that we must stop him from developing and selling more weapons of mass destruction as a matter of national security, which is just hypocritical. After all, North Korea has nuclear weapons and wishes to sell them to anyone who will buy them, but no one is crying for their blood.
Second: Why now? Supporters of war have failed to answer this question. The world seems ready to explode, we are in the middle of a conflict based largely on a clash of religions, and our president, diplomatic genius that he is, is outspoken in his belief that the Christian God is on America’s side. Call me crazy, but doesn’t it seem like pursuing this war right now might be a little like lighting a match in a barrel of gunpowder? Is this the smartest time to toss diplomacy to the wayside, and more importantly, will this war solve anything or will it simply increase anti-American sentiment worldwide?
If I may say one last thing: I am disgusted by the recent trend in this country of treating protestors like traitors or supporters of terrorism. Are we living in 1955? Has Joseph McCarthy been resurrected? Are we going to reinstate HUAC and start blacklisting people because of their “ties to communism?” It certainly seems there are plenty of “good Americans” who would love to see protestors silenced by any means necessary. And to think, we want to instate a democracy in Iraq when we don’t even understand what it means to have one here.

Travis Atria is a senior majoring in English Literature. Viruses can be directed to Batman7777@aol.com.

March 7, 2003

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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